« PreviousContinue »
piness or miserý will be in proportion to your conduct: The inclosed from my father will, I hope, be agreeable; I have not seen it, and therefore can only judge of its conTents by the conversation' last night at supper. When your letter was delivered, 'my honoured father was ex irenrely ill of a cold, so that I did not deliver it to him till the next morning at breakfast. He retired to his closet to read it, and at dinner cold me he would deliver to me an answer in the evening. Accordingly after supper, and the servants being retired, the best of parents spake as follows: *** My dear child, from the principles of that education which you have received, I doubt noe but you must be convinced that it is my duty to promote your interest' as far as I am able, and how far my conduct as a father has been consistent with that rale, I appeal to yourself; your own conscierice will witness, whether I have not at all times studied to promote your interest, and it is with pleasure that I now say, that your filial duty was equal to my highest wishes.--Wirh respect to the subject of the letter yoa gave mė this morning, I can only say, that I have no'objection to your complying with the young gentleman's request, as I think it may be for your mutual happiness. Indeed I bad some sospicion of it before he left this place : but being well convinced of his merit, I was almost assured that no step of that nature would be taken without my consent: That consent you now have, and even my approbation.
both be as happy as I wish; I desire no more.” Here the good man stopped, tears hindered him from proceeding, and me from making a reply. A scene of tenderness ensued, which you may feel, although I cannot describe il. His own letter will convince you, and may make what use of it you please.
I cannot conclude without mentioning your conduct at the Manchester ball.
there , none among so many beauties able to attract my Billy's notice and will he at all times prefer my company to that of the gay and bean tiful! I will hope so, and happy shall I be it not disap pointed. In hopes of heating from you soon, I shall subscribe myself
Yours for every
The father's answer to the young gentleman. My dear young friend,
VER since I first had the pleasure of your conversation,
who would not beguiltyofan ungenerous aclion; and to that was owing not only the respect I always treated you with, bui also the common indulgence to converse freely with my daughter. I can freely excuse your not communicating your sentiments to me before you left this place. Your ardour was somewhai precipitate, and, as you well observe, I know what it is to be in love. The account of
uncle and family I know to be true, for I met with that worthy person who is your banefactor a few days ago at the Red Lion in this city, and he confirms the truth of all you have written. My dear sir, if ever you live to be a fathies, you will know what I feel on the present occasion: a willingness to give her to you, from a firm persuasion of your merit; and anxiety for her preservalion, from a conviction in my own mind, that there is nothing permanent in this world. However, sir, you have my free consent to marry my child, and may the Divine Providence be your guide in the whole of your progress shrough this life! my ill state of health serves as a monitor to inform you, that my time in this world will be but short; and there is nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see my dear Sophia happily settled, before I retire to the land of forgetfulness, where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary ure ut rest. sir, is the charge which I commit to your care; the image of a beloved wife long since dead, and the hope of my declining years! her education has been consistent with her fank in life, and her conduct truly virtuous. I have not the least doubt of her conjugalduty, and your felicity in ach. ing coaformable to the character of a husband. Upon that supposition I leave her entirely to you; and as soon as you can obtain leave from the colonel, I shall expect to see you at this place, lo receive from my hands all that is dear to me in the world.
Your uncle has likewise promised to be here, so that all things are according to your professed wishes.
I am, sir, yours sincerely,
How great, LETTER LXXXVII. From a young man just out of his apprenliceship, to his
sweetheart, a servant in the neighbourhoods Dear Sally, I
tell you. When I go with you to Bagnigge, or Sadler's Wells, I am almost like a fool, and altogether unfit for company. I think of you all day, and at night I dream of my dear Sally: I am well settled in work, and my wages are eighteen shillings every week. You and I can live on that, and I shall bring it home untouched on Saturday evening. I will not go to any alehouse, but as soon as my work is done, return home to mydearly beloved Sally. I hope, my dear, you will not be angry, for I am really in love. I cannot be happy unless you are mine. I was afraid to mention this.to you, but if you will leave mean answer at mylodgings I will meet you next Sunday, after dinner, at the Shepherd and Shepherdess, when we will take a walk to Hornseyhouse and drink tea. How happy shall I be to hear from my charmer; but a thousand times more to think she will be mine.
I am, my dear, your real lover.
The answer. Dear Jack,
RECEIVED your very kind letter, but I don't know I
what to say in answer. Although I would be glad to marry, yet you men are so deceiving, that there is no such thing as trusting you. There is Tom Timber, the carpen, ter, and Jack Hammer, the smith, who have not been married above six months, and every night come home drunk, and beat their wives. What a miserable life is that, Jack, and how do I know but you may be as bad to me! how do I know but you, like them, inay get drunk every night, and beat me black and blue before morning! I do assure your Jack, if I thought that would be the case, I would scrub Hoors and scour saucepans as long as I live. But possibly you may not be so bad, for there is Will Copper, the brazier, and Jack Trotter, the ass-man, who are both very happy with their wives; they are both home-bringing husbands, and have every day a hot joipl of meat, and a pot of heer. I know not yet what I should do; but as I like walk to Hornsey, I will meet you at the Shepherd and Shepherdess on Sunday after dinner, and then we will talk more of the matter.
I am, dear Jack,
LETTER LXXXIX. The six following are genuine, and passed between a gen
tleman and a lady some time ago, but were never before published.
From the gentleman. Madam, T was a question among the sloics, whether the whole part, I have always wished to consider things in the fairest light, but I often find-niy resolution weakened; and when I think to act the philosopher, I feel myself nothing but a man. When
late wife died about two years ago, I proposed making the tour of England, that, by mixing with -strangers, my thoughts might be led from fruitless reflections on the loss I had sustained; a loss which none but myself know. It is true, it has been so far successful, that it has taught me two things; first, resignation to the will of Heaven; and, secondly, that I am still unhappy in the want ofa female partner. The agreeable company at the house of your worthy brother obliged me to spend more time at York than I at first intended; nor did I know until I had proceeded some niles, that I should be obliged once more ito return, In short, madam, I am a second time in love; and although you may be disposed to laugh, yet I assure you that I am in real.earnest, your own dear self is the object. But perhaps you will ask, How happens all this? I answer, that I cannot tell how it happens. But I am really fondof domestic life, and am once more resolved to alter my condition. I cannot flatter, and I think both you and I have lived long enough to judge for ourselves. There was something pleased me much in the prudent manner you conduct the affairs of your brother's house; but as he is on the point of being married, that employment willcease when the other event takes place. I did not hear that you was engaged by promise to any other; and as you have heard some
Ahing concerning my family, character, and circumstances, you are more able to judge, whether my present proposals are for your interest. In case you have any objections to my having children, I can only say, that they will be easily answered: I have told you before, that I have only two young daughters now at a boarding-school, and I have settled each of their marriage portions, and the remainder is entirely for myself; and without being any real prejudice to my .children, is more than sufficient for us both. Asto the common objection against being a step-mother, I think it may be easily answered, when I tell
my children will treat you with all manner of respect. I do not imagine you can esteem me the worse for loving my children; I have too good an opinion of you to think so; and as for the odious appellation usually thrown out against step'mothers, they can only be considered by a lady of your sensibility, as the effect of prejudice, operating upon vulgar minds, occasioned by the conduct of some inhuman wretches who are a disgrace to society, and who would have acted in the same manner had they been placed in another station in life. Your own good sense will point out the propriety of what I say. From what I have written you will be able to judge, whether or not the proposais I have now made are apparently for your real advan. . tage. All that I desire is to live in amity and friendship with the woman on whom I have placed my affections, as long as I am in the world. Every thing in my, power shall be exerted to make you as happy as possible, as I Think, if I am not mistaken, every part of your conduct will entitle you to deserve it. I hope you will not defer sending me an answer, as I shall wait for it with the ut. most impatience. I am, madam,
Yours sincerely and affectionately,
The lady's answer. Sir, HAVE just received your letter, and for my own part must
acted the extremely well. I thought that love-letters had not usually been extracted from Seneca or Epictetus; but why do I wonder, when even a lady now alive went through the drudgery of